Review: Napoletana’s wood-fired pizzas still the real deal

There’s something about the combination of flour, water, salt, tomato sauce and cheese that keeps us coming back for more. And for six years, pizza lovers have been passionate about the pies coming out of the wood-fired oven at Mountain View’s Napoletana Pizzeria.

Tucked into a strip mall between a Cost Plus and a kabob-pupuseria eatery, the cozy dining room exudes warmth with its flickering candles and soft jazz soundtrack. A colorful mural depicting a San Francisco city scene covers one wall.

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Napoletana is home to a mere 41 seats; the best three are at the small bar. From there, we watched owner and pizzaiolo Costas Eleftheriadis softly slap dough into pies. As the pizzas baked, they gave off delightful yeasty, toasty and bready aromas. Eleftheriadis was certainly dressed for the part, clad in a tight-fitting black head scarf, with a bright red bandanna tied around the neck of his crisp white chef’s jacket.

He opened Napoletana in 2011 and earned the coveted authentic Neapolitan wood-fired oven pizza certification by Italy’s prestigious Associanzione Verace Pizza Napoletana in 2012, the first South Bay restaurant to receive this stamp of approval. That means pizzas are made with 00 flour (double zero or “doppio zero” in Italian) and baked in a 900-degree wood-burning oven in 60 to 90 seconds.

A home bread baker and amateur home pizza maker, Eleftheriadis fell in love with Neapolitan pizza while visiting Naples, Italy, and enrolled in the Vera Pizza Napoletana association’s school. He bought the Mountain View restaurant space because it already had a wood-fired pizza oven. The sole pizza maker, Eleftheriadis uses a mix of mostly almond wood to create the blaze.

We kicked off

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

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